Yes, we have spoken and she is beginning to see my point of view on telling my Dad. I have been incredibly busy this semester, but I am trying to see if I can arrange a trip to the USA to deal with this.
There is a thread that talks about disclosing to relatives, but I wonder if it would be useful for survivors to know what I am discovering and learning from my own experience in the specific area of the reactions of relatives and close friends. My relatives have been very supportive in their own way, but sometimes we need to talk more before I begin to get the kind of support I need and feel I deserve. It isn't that they are insensitive; it's just that the news hits them like a freight train and there is no way they can know how to react or how I am feeling as I tell them. It must be very disorienting.
It is of course a different matter if family members are overtly hostile or accuse you of making it all up. But it seems to me that it is a normal thing for relatives to react in a way that reveals instantly that they had no idea. My sister wept, for example, and then over susequent talks more and more came out. It wasn't easy for either of us: I felt ashamed and awkward talking about some things, and it isn't exactly an easy thing to say, for example, that by the time you were 14 you couldn't even recall how many times it happened anymore. But I wanted to get it out. And of course she was embarrassed to ask. But we talked about that too.
One very close friend whom I told was so shocked and embarrassed he just said "Shut up, Larry", and changed the subject. That hurt a lot, but I tried to see how it must have felt from his point of view. I know how he acted was cruel and hurtful, and I am not trying to make excuses for him. But sometimes revealing something is so extreme that family and friend just can't cope right away. My friend, for example, came to visit me here in Germany specifically to apologize and ask how I was doing. Sometimes people just need time.
I hope this doesn't sound naively irenic: I know we deserve to be heard and acknowledged NOW. And I know that in some cases family members and close friends can betray us utterly. I am thinking here of Desvelar's comments elsewhere on the DB.
But we ourselves don't get to this point of disclosure in a second, and perhaps it is useful to pause and think how this kind of news sounds and what it means to people really close to us. When I tell my Dad I know he will be supportive, but it would not surprise me if my mother becomes angry and says I must be remembering it wrong. Why? Because they were good parents and lived in a good neighborhood and that kind of thing "doesn't happen here". In other words she would go into denial. But that is how I coped for 40 years. I can't expect her to "get it" in 40 seconds.
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me. (Woody Guthrie)